Our client, a 48 year old commercial plumber was involved in a motor vehicle accident while working. He did not take an ambulance from the scene, returned to work four days later, and three months after the motor vehicle accident had a heart attack while working. About a year after the accident, he underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee and received injections in his cervical spine. During the same period, he started his own contracting business. A year later, and two years after the accident, he underwent an arthroscopic procedure to his left shoulder, where the surgeon found a chronic degenerative condition was affecting his left shoulder. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin attorney Michael Fitzpatrick obtained summary judgment on the issue of liability because he was able to convince the court that the accident was 100% the fault of the defendant.
The defendant contended that the injuries our client was claiming were not caused by the accident, but were degenerative conditions caused by his occupation as a commercial plumber. Additionally, our client had four previous lawsuits in which he claimed injuries to the same parts of his body. In fact, the defendant found medical records dating back ten years that showed our client had previously been recommended for surgery to his left knee, received injections to his cervical spine and that he complained of radiating pain in his left shoulder. The defendant contended further that there were no tears in his left to trial the defendant refused to make any offer of settlement.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin took the case to trial. During trial, the firm was able to demonstrate to the jury that the plaintiff's injuries were aggravated by the motor vehicle accident and these aggravations gave rise to the need for surgical intervention. The firm utilized courtroom technology including a smart board to show the jury the intraoperative photos of the plaintiff's left knee which conclusively demonstrated a torn meniscus. At the conclusion of the plaintiff's case the defendant chose to settle the case for $150,000 rather than to allow the jury to decide whether our client's injuries constituted serious injuries under the New York threshold law. Our client continues to work as a plumber.